Their mind in your hands: User centric digital mental health

Wednesday 5th October 2022, 6:30 pm.

Speaker: Mel McKendrick, Heriot-Watt University

Venue: Skyscanner Limited, Quartermile One, 15 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, EH3 9EN
(Please use Lauriston Place entrance. Note that Skyscanner will require you to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) for entry to their offices. Please read the terms here).

This meeting will be preceded by the BCS Edinburgh Branch AGM at 6:15pm.

Networking from 6:00 pm.

Refreshments kindly provided by Skyscanner.

This event is free of charge and open to all, though registration is required.


Untreated mental health costs the UK over £94bn annually and set to double over the next 20 years. Comorbid mental health, developmental, neurodegenerative or physical illnesses are issues highlighted by the WHO mental Health Action Plan and mental health has been included in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. The goal of sustainable mental health work is to improve prevention, personalise intervention, monitoring and support for emotional health and mental wellbeing in an individualised accessible manner over the long term. It is estimated that key technologies will include telemedicine, sensors, wearables, smartphones, digital therapies, social media, genotyping microarrays, neuroimaging, electronic health records, healthcare data collection, natural language processing, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality. These emerging technologies are changing the face of mental healthcare, but do we really understand their potential benefits and risks? How can we effectively and safely reduce the burden of mental illness through emerging technologies?

About the speaker


Mel McKendrick is a Chartered Experimental Psychologist and Assistant Professor in Psychology at Heriot-Watt University, where she leads SPECTRA Labs: a series of interconnected labs which combine psychology with technologies such as extended realities, gamification and objective sensory metrics She is also CEO of Optomize Ltd. (attention assessment and visual feedback training for clinical skills). She is interested in how we can use simulated environments, technology and feedback to reduce anxiety and improve performance.

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